Global Anti-Smoking Pact Goes Into Effect
"A global treaty aimed at dissuading children from smoking and helping adults kick the habit came into force on Sunday with the United Nations saying it could save millions of lives." (via Yahoo Newsbv) The US has not yet signed the treaty.

Symptoms of nicotine withdrawal include:

(1) dysphoric or depressed mood
(2) Insomnia
(3) irritability, frustration, or anger
(4) anxiety
(5) difficulty concentrating


Treating non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) after it becomes resistant to chemotherapy has been the subject of intense scientific and clinical research. The study of targeted therapy, in which a drug or biological agent attaches only to a specific receptor on a malignant cell, led to the approval and release of the anilinoquinazolines gefitinib (Iressa) and erlotinib (Tarceva), for the treatment of patients with NSCLC who have failed or can ...


Overmedicating the Elderly

A new study from the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society states that almost one in three seniors are receiving medications "deemed potentially inappropriate for older people".

Medicines on the list included antispasmodic drugs and propoxyphene. Several solutions to the problem are mentioned, all centered around good communication between doctor and patient, and knowledge of drug side effects in the elderly.

Greetings to all of Kevin's readers (and I know you are many)!

Have you ever run into a high school or college student who is interested in becoming a doctor? It would seem that the opportunities for young people to "shadow" a practicing physician or scientist are readily available, and from my experience such exposure can push a youthful mind over the edge into a love and passion for ...


...and the right to refuse medical treatment, at Bioethics Discussion Blog.

Where was the patients physician? Where was the ethics committee to help educate the patient and physician (and, by the way, the viewing public) on the well established ethics and law? Where was the advocate of the disabled, the rehabilitation therapist to provide the patient with factual information of what could yet be done to help her live maybe ...


Pain meds weren't enough:

Darcie Prestegard has spent much of her life coping with chronic pain, the result of a childhood accident. For years she tried to block it out, competing on the rodeo circuit despite constant sharp pains in her leg. Eventually she sought medical help for her discomfort. Surgery and various medications brought some relief, but the pain always returned. Her doctors said it might never go away completely. ...


He's joining me here, guest-blogging till Thursday. (Thanks, C.O.!)

Please send your submissions to me at maria at intueri dot org with a title of "Grand Rounds Submission". And send them in before 6:00PM PST (that's 9:00PM for you Eastern Seaboard peeps) on February 28th, 2005.

Dr. George Vaillant, MD, directs the Study of Adult Development at Harvard University. He's searching for "a theoretical framework, as well as data, for understanding how older people end up fulfilled or not." Among his findings:

* It is not the bad things that happen to us that doom us; it is the good people who happen to us at any age that facilitate enjoyable old age.
* Healing relationships are ...


Thanks, Dr. Kevin!

I'm a psychiatrist who blogs from Eugene, Oregon. I'm surprised to be over here! (I've never "guest-blogged" before.) I think I'll be posting the way I usually do, but I'll have an eye out for more medically-oriented topics. (I'm especially interested in how people cope with all sorts of things, including medical problems...)

In absentia

I will be away for a few days. But fear not, loyal readers - our favorite blogging psychiatrist, shrinkette, will kindly be guest-blogging in my absence. Enjoy!

Dr. Craig Hildreth, The Cheerful Oncologist, will also be guest-blogging. Enjoy both of these unique medical blogging voices in the next few days.

A woman who had suffered a massive heart attack died after hospital personnel moved her out of a trauma room to accommodate a flu-stricken Michael Jackson
Big surprise, the family is now suing Jackson and the hospital. Chris Rangel comments:

The problem is that like the majority of medical lawsuits this case has little if any merit. It is standard procedure to disconnect the patient from the ventilator and ventilate ...


In the trauma room: Columbus man kills his two children, then kills himself
Dr. Bard-Parker was there. Incredible.

2,000 defibrillators are being recalled
"The company said the machines may not correctly analyze a patient's
heart rhythm, possibly preventing the machine from defibrillating the
heart when it is needed."

The complex manual dexterity required to be a stellar video gamer and minimally invasive surgeon are strikingly similar
"Dr. Rosser, 50, practices what he preaches. He keeps an Xbox, along with PlayStation 2 and GameCube consoles, just a few strides from the operating room so he can warm up with a favorite, Super Monkey Ball, just before surgery."

"Soul murder is a small price to pay for a good story."
An essay criticizing the media's often tabloid-like coverage of health information. After all, stories about catastrophes sell more papers than those about safe care. Some points:

Professor Tallis said there had been many other instances of "disgraceful" treatment in the press, with the "unhuman pursuit of the human story." He said, "Numerous doctors have been hounded and when ...


Does Hollywood accurately portray disease?
Not surprisingly, the answer is more than likely, no.

In the UK, 17,402 operations were cancelled at short notice for non-clinical reasons during a four-month period
"Operations may be cancelled at the last minute if a bed is no longer going to be available, or if staff are needed elsewhere."

It took one year to recruit a neurosurgeon in Illinois after his predecessors left due to a hostile malpractice climate
"I didn't think we'd be able to do it this rapidly."

Malpractice rates in Texas will decrease an average of 14 percent
"The Doctors Company, a physician-owned medical malpractice carrier, will file with the Texas Department of Insurance to decrease its average rate level.

Ninety percent of the company's current Texas insureds will receive rate reductions. Although some reductions will range up to 30 percent, the average decrease for insureds at $200,000/$600,000 limits of liability is 14 percent."


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